Wisdom Collection

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    The Buddha of Infinite Light and Life Paid Member

    Taitetsu Unno, professor emeritus of religious studies at Smith College, is one of the major figures in post–World War II American Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Besides his numerous scholarly publications on Buddhism, his books River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism (Doubleday, 1998) and Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold (Doubleday, 2002) have helped many people to discover the riches of this major Buddhist tradition. More »
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    No Self or True Self? Paid Member

    The following is an excerpt from A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life, by Jack Kornfield. It is from Chapter 14, "No Self or True Self?" Spiritual practice inevitably brings us face to face with the profound mystery of our own identity. We have taken birth in a human body. What is this force that gives us life, that brings us and the world into form? The world's great spiritual teachings tell us over and over we are not who we think we are. More »
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    The Luminous Gap in Bardo Paid Member

    Bardo can have many implications, depending on how one looks at it. It is an interval, a hiatus, a gap. It can act as a boundary that divides and separates, marking the end of one thing and the beginning of another; but it can also be a link between the two: it can serve as a bridge or a meeting place, which brings together and unites. It is a crossing, a stepping-stone, a transition. It is a crossroads, where one must choose which path to take, and it is a no-man's-land, belonging neither to one side nor to the other. It is a highlight or peak point of experience, and at the same time a situation of extreme tension, caught between two opposites. It is an open space, filled with an atmosphere of suspension and uncertainty, neither this nor that. More »
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    The Joy of Effort Paid Member

    WHEN EXPLAINING meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince.  More »
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    Mahakala At Work Paid Member

    The workplace presents us with some tough challenges that require both professional skill and spriritual wisdom. Giving difficult feedback to a colleague, confronting an offensive boss, motivating a disillusioned coworker, losing a job, exposing a fraud or a petty office theft—such challenges are real and unavoidable aspects of our jobs. Managing such difficulties can make us feel anxious or disillusioned and, at times even arrogant, inadequate, or fearful. But navigating such workplace difficulties need not be distressing. In fact, managing conflicts skillfully can be a powerful opportunity for personal and professional growth. What I’ve found particularly useful is a traditional Buddhist way of working with conflict: the Mahakala method. More »
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    Fragile Bonds Paid Member

    Satellite images of the Palk Strait, which separates the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu from the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka, show a ghostly line linking the two. Below the water's surface is a ridge of limestone that once formed an isthmus joining the landmasses. It is an apt image for the complex yet buried connections between the two provinces. More »